YREKA, Calif. -- Nearly 2,800 personnel are fighting the Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou and Jackson Counties. Firefighters are camping out at the Siskiyou County Fairgrounds waiting to go to the fire line. But life as a firefighter is hard both on and off the line. The base camp moves 24 hours a day as crews change shifts every 12 or 24 hours.
The day starts with a briefing.
“That’s where we learn what kind of hazards we can expect that day on the fire," said Gabriel Lauderdale, the Klamathon Fire PIO. "What the weather is going to be like and what our objectives are for the fire that day.”
Then firefighters make sure they are well supplied before heading out to their designated areas. Crews have everything they could possibly need to fight a fire on-hand.
Both breakfast and dinner are supplied at the base while crews eat a 4,000 calorie lunch out on the line.
“It usually includes a sandwich, some jerky, some kind of fruit," said Lauderdale. "Usually some kind of electrolytes as we’re sweating so much on the fire.”
As for when firefighters return, it's all about rest. Several choose to stay on locaiton inside small tents. Cal Fire has provided air conditioed huts and trailers for firefighters that need to stay out of the heat.
“When we’re out on the line, we’re expending ourselves. And so usually we’re trying to get as much sleep and rest as we can before we have to go out and do it again,” said Lauderdale.
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